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Web Mozarts:
Defining PHP Annotations in XML
October 24, 2014 @ 11:10:53

The Web Mozarts blog has an interesting new post today that talks about using annotations in your PHP code to define the attributes in resulting XML that could be generated dynamically from your objects.

Annotations have become a popular mechanism in PHP to add metadata to your source code in a simple fashion. Their benefits are clear: They are easy to write and simple to understand. Editors offer increasing support for auto-completing and auto-importing annotations. But there are also various counter-arguments: Annotations are written in documentation blocks, which may be removed from packaged code. Also, they are coupled to the source code. Whenever an annotation is changed, the project needs to be rebuilt. This is desirable in some, but not in other cases.

They focus in on Symfony-based applications as a good base to work from (as they've pushed to have annotations work in the code for things like routing and data type definition). He starts with an example Doctrine class - a "best buddy" for Symfony as far as annotations go - and how the annotations define the different properties. He also includes an example of the XML output of the same definition generated through an "AnnotationReader" instance. He talks about having multiple XML documents representing one object with different annotations put in each, including the XML output. The post finishes with some advantages including the ease of validation by XML-friendly tools looking to interface with the application.

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Link: http://webmozarts.com/2014/10/24/defining-php-annotations-in-xml/

Thomas Weinert:
FluentDOM 5 + XML Namespaces
August 07, 2014 @ 10:50:22

In this new post to his site Thomas Weinert shows how to use the FluentDOM library (a PHP implementation of a Javascript library by the same name) when XML namespaces are involved.

FluentDOM 5 allows to register namespaces on the DOM document class. These are not the namespaces of a loaded document, but a definition of namespaces for your programming logic.

He compares it to both a PHP example, using the DOMXpath handling and a Javascript sample using its own xmlDocument functionality. Finally he compares these examples to the few lines of FluentDOM code to handle the same kind of evaluation. He wraps up the post with a brief mention of the "appendElement" function that wraps serveral operations in one for easy element additions.

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Link: http://www.a-basketful-of-papayas.net/2014/08/fluentdom-5-xml-namespaces.html

PHPBuilder.com:
Using PHP Configuration Patterns Properly
April 16, 2014 @ 11:52:11

On PHPBuilder.com today they have a new post showing different configuration patterns for getting localized settings into your applications. They show the use of INI files, PHP scripts, text files, XML data and a database call.

PHP is a cross platform language. It is a server based application so we must think about the configuration settings of the PHP software. There are various ways of creating configurable PHP applications. The configuration flexibility comes as a built in feature in PHP. But we must understand the requirement clearly before making an application configurable. This article explores different PHP configuration patterns and their implementation.

For each of the options mentioned, there's a brief description of what the method is, some of the common uses and a code example showing a basic implementation. The database pattern is the only one without a code example as the database interface varies widely from application to application.

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Link: http://www.phpbuilder.com/articles/application-architecture/using-php-configuration-patterns-properly.html

Tech.pro:
How to Create an RSS Feed Using PHP and PDO
December 04, 2013 @ 11:52:53

On the tech.pro site there's a recent tutorial posted showing you a basic way to create an RSS feed using data coming from a database accessed via PDO.

Using an RSS feed on your website is a great way of letting your visitors, search engines or directories get a hand on your content. RSS feeds are common practice on most blog and CMS platforms including Wordpress, Joomla and evenly the newly released Ghost. If you're using a CMS or similar platform, the likelihood is that you don't need to implement an RSS feed yourself. [...] Below you've got the step-by-step process to create anything from the simple, standard-compliant RSS feed - up to the more advanced.

The tutorial shows you how to pull the data from a simple database table (SQL not provided, but pretty easy to figure out(, including example PDO connections for several database types. This data is then manually appended into an XML string to build out the RSS feed correctly. They also talk about implementing the Dublin Core metadata as a way for providing more information about the feed and its contents (including an image and category details).

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rss feed introduction tutorial pdo xml dublincore

Link: http://tech.pro/tutorial/1722/how-to-create-an-rss-feed-using-php-and-pdo

Adam Culp:
Zend Framework 2 XML Sitemap
September 09, 2013 @ 11:15:09

In a new post to his site Adam Culp shares how he created an XML sitemap for his Zend Framework 2-based application as he made it (the SunshinePHP site) more SEO friendly.

I was pleasantly surprised to see the Navigation component of Zend Framework 2 includes a bunch of view helpers, including a Sitemap helper. So now I have an xml sitemap created by Zend Framework 2 that works hand in hand with the site navigation. However, the documentation was not complete as of this writing and caused me to do a bit of trial and error debugging to get it working. Below I will post how I got it working, in hopes it will help others.

The code to get it working is relatively simple - set it up in the module configuration, specify the navigation structure and add a route for the sitemap output. The view then accesses the navigation handling and calls a "sitemap" method to push the XML result out to the user.

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xml sitemap sunshinephp zendframework2 navigation helper

Link: http://www.geekyboy.com/archives/770

PHPMaster.com:
Create a Podcast Feed with PHP
August 14, 2013 @ 11:54:48

On PHPMaster.com there's a tutorial posted that walks you through the creation of a podcast feed based around a Slim framework application and this skeleton application.

In this article, I'll demonstrate how to use PHP to generate a podcast feed. We'll create a simple administrative interface to configure the podcast metadata, add and list episodes, and then go through the generation of the podcast feed itself (which is simply an RSS document).

He walks you through the full process - setting up the application, creating the various management pages and making the associated views to add more information to the feed. He also includes the code/markup you'll need for adding episodes and generating the actual XML RSS feed output. You can download the full app if you want to see how it's all laid out.

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Link: http://phpmaster.com/create-a-podcast-feed-with-php

PHPMaster.com:
Consuming Feeds with SimplePie
April 22, 2013 @ 11:47:50

In a recent post to PHPMaster.com Kevin Mowry shows you how to use SimplePie, a simple to use programatic feed reader you can use to parse things like RSS feeds.

If you're an avid feed consumer like I am, you might be a bit sad to see Google's recent announcement of Reader reaching end of life. Reader was simple and easy to use, but there's no reason you can't have the same functionality with your own homegrown project. The PHP library SimplePie allows for quick and easy feed consumption and display. Here's how you can get started on your own feed reader.

He helps you get it installed (via Composer) and shows you how to use some of its most basic functionality to parse the New York Times' feed. He also includes examples of getting the information back out of the SimplePie object. There's also some snippets that show how to only get the latest items and how to cache the results.

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simplepie rss feed reader tutorial nytimes

Link: http://phpmaster.com/consuming-feeds-with-simplepie

PHPBuilder.com:
Building a PHP RSS Aggregator
April 04, 2013 @ 13:09:13

On PHPBuilder.com today there's a quick tutorial showing you how to build an RSS aggregator that can pull in RSS content and drop it into a MySQL table.

RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. It is a Web format that allows website owners to distribute their latest and frequently updated content in a standardized way. RSS feed is actually an XML document that can be easily read by using RSS reader software or built-in functions in programming languages, such as PHP or Java. In this article, the focus will be on building a RSS aggregator in PHP.

They introduce the basics of an RSS feed - a specially formatted XML document with values for individual posts (like "title" and "link". They provide the SQL structure for the "article" and "feed" tables and the code to pull out each "feed" record, parse it and drop that into the "article" table for later consumption. They show two different methods for getting the content - one using file_get_contents and another using cURL.

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Link: http://www.phpbuilder.com/articles/php-functions/xml/building-a-php-rss-aggregator.html

Lorna Mitchell:
First Phing Plugin
March 25, 2013 @ 10:49:23

In the latest post to her site, Lorna Mitchell walks you through the creation of a first Phing plugin, an extension to the popular PHP-based build tool.

I'm a huge fan of Phing and use it regularly for build and deployment tasks. Often, I'll ask about a plugin that I wish existed, and get a very courteous "patches welcome" from the nice people in the #phing channel on freenode. This has happened a few times, so I thought I should probably look at how to make a new phing plugin, this article shows you how to make the simplest thing I could think of: a simple "hello world" plugin.

She points you to the location to grab the latest version of the tool (the github repository) and how to define a configuration file for your test runs. Then she includes the sample code showing how to create the "HelloTask" plugin. It takes an input value of "name" and displays a greeting when executed. She shows the syntax for defining this in the XML build file and the sample result when executed.

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phing plugin install build configuration xml helloworld task


PHPMaster.com:
Parsing XML With SimpleXML
February 12, 2013 @ 12:48:34

On PHPMaster.com today there's a new tutorial introducing you to SimpleXML, a handy bit of functionality included with the base PHP install to make working with XML (well, reading it) much simpler.

Parsing XML essentially means navigating through an XML document and returning the relevant data. An increasing number of web services return data in JSON format, but a large number still return XML, so you need to master parsing XML if you really want to consume the full breadth of APIs available. Using PHP's SimpleXML extension that was introduced back in PHP 5.0, working with XML is very easy to do. In this article I'll show you how.

He starts with some basic usage of the SimpleXML parsing, giving an example XML to parse, the resulting object and how to access the data inside it. There's also a bit about dealing with namespaces in the XML you're parsing and a more practical example - parsing the output of a YouTube feed to get links to various videos.

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